Fishing & Hunting Report - Aug 18, 2014
WEEKLY OUTDOOR, FISHING AND HUNTING REPORTS, followed by calendar
***Eagle River, Wis. (VILAS COUNTY) -- as of August 18, 2014:
Walleye, northern, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and panfish all putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky good. You're going to get information on how to find the best Northwoods hunting opportunities; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the low 70s - -and anglers are loving this season's continuing multi-species fishing action. Now is the time to get up to Eagle River and enjoy yourself.
WALLEYE: Walleye in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges in
10-25 feet of water. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a jig and a minnow or half of a crawler. All day action with peaks early and late in the day (lower light hours). The bite is good to excellent.
NORTHERN: For northern in the Eagle River area fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner bait, Rapala, or northern suckes under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: For smallies in the Eagle River area, fish hardbottom humps and break edges over hardbottom areas in 10-25 feet of water. Use a jig and a leech or a minnow, plastic tube, a craw, or a Senko rigged wacky.
All day action. The bite is good to excellent.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: For largemouth bass in the Eagle River area fish shoreline structure (docks, drowned trees, brushpiles, and heavy weeds) in 10 feet of water or less. Use a topwater, a plastic rigged weedless, or a minnow under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch in the Eagle River area are off of weed and break edges in 15 feet of water or less. The perch are right to bottom. Crappies and gills are suspending up and down the water column (lake dependent that means the suspending depth(s) will be determined by water clarity, light conditions and where the food is at on a particular water). Use a crappie minnow, chunk of crawler or micro-plastic on a jig or under a slip bobber. All day action, and the bite is good to excellent.
MUSKY: Musky in the Eagle River area are locating off of weed and break edges in 10 feet of water or less. Use a regular sized bucktail, topwater, jerkbait, or glide bait. Normal retrieve, and always do a "figure 8" when your lure nears the boat. All day action, with short feeding windows. The bite is good.
One of the best ways to find out where and when to hunt in the Eagle River is to attend banquets hosted by conservation organizations. These events are attended by locals who know the area well, and will often help folks that are new to the area. In addition, you will be helping wildlife by supporting the organizations that fight for habitat.
For duck hunters and grouse hunters, there are two events coming up that can be great sources of information. The Plumb Creek Ducks Unlimited chapter, based in Sayner, is holding its banquet on Tuesday, August 26 . Contact Tom Reed for info at 715-542-3994.The Eagle River chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society holds its banquet on Thursday, August 28. Contact Jed Lechleitner for info at 715-891-7633.
Other sources of information on hunting in the Eagle River (besides this hunting report!) include the Vilas County Forestry office (715-479-5160), the Eagle River Ranger district of the Nicolet National Forest
(715-479-2827) and the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce (800-359-6315).
Editor¹s Note: Eagle River, Wisconsin, is the Snowmobile Capital of the World®, Hockey Capital of Wisconsin, World¹s Largest Chain of 28 Lakes (Eagle River Chain O¹Lakes named one of the ³7 Natural Wonders of Wisconsin² by Travel Wisconsin.com/Wisconsin Department of Tourism); voted ³The Best Up-North Town² by readers of Wisconsin Trails Magazine.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides ³Muskie Matt² of Wild Eagle Lodge, ³Ranger Rick² Krueger of Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* ³Muskie Matt², 715-891-5980; e-mail: email@example.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner ³Ranger Rick² Krueger, 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
* Dan Anderson, Eagle River hunting enthusiast, 715-479-8511. e-mail:
(Dan is also a silent sports devotee and works with the Vilas County Silent Sports Association; www.vassa-trails.org).
***Calendar highlights for Eagle River, Wisconsin
- - Fall will soon start peeking at Eagle River with a big smile and welcoming hand. You don't want to miss it. You'll be surrounded everywhere by mega-miles of spectacular fall colors. Yours for the hiking, biking,
jogging and driving. Great hunting for deer, black bear, upland birds,
turkey and water fowl. Fabulous fishing for lunker musky and walleye.
Eagle River area's 1,300 lakes; the forests, meadows and wetlands. The beauty of nature in Wisconsin's Northwoods -- unmatched anywhere. A warm, welcoming community, with all needed public and private services.
Accommodations, festivals, events and opportunities for every taste and age.
We'll be happy to help you plan your visit, and provide you with any information you need. Contact us at anytime: Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- - Eagle River Golf Course is open in Eagle River. The beautiful Eagle River Golf Course is open from 10:00 am-6 pm. daily. Take advantage of the gorgeous, warm Northwoods weather, the scenic beauty, and get your swing in the groove. Many continuing money saving fun specials throughout the season, tournaments, youth golf season and tournament, new equipment demos, warm, expert, welcoming staff. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- -If you're in the Eagle River area, and decide to go fishing, and maybe left your equipment at home not to worry. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a free, equipment loan program that may be able to help. For information and regulations of this program in the Eagle River area you can call Kimberly Krawczyk at 715-542-2075. Just another way to enjoy all that the Eagle River area has to offer. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- - Throughout the year Eagle River offers great opportunities for "silent sports" devotees. Whatever the season, there are myriad activities, events, and just plain fun and relaxation for those who love biking, hiking, kayaking, running, jogging X-C skiing and snowshoeing. The facilities and trails are some of the best anywhere, with services and competitions to fit every level of expertise and taste. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- -Trees for Tomorrow has a multitude of family, youth, public and nature programs right on its campus in Eagle River. This wondrous venue allows everyone to explore the joys of nature at little or no cost. Contact Trees for Tomorrow for information and program schedule. Phone: 715-479-6456.
E-mail: email@example.com. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- - The Wisconsin fishing season is open in Eagle River. For over 150 years anglers have flocked to Eagle River to enjoy the fun, relaxation and excitement of Eagle River's legendary fishing - -from walleye to musky - -and everything in between. Eagle River provides the finest fishing experience anyone could ever want. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- - Fri.-Sat., Aug. 22-23, 2014: 3rd Annual Wound Warriors Fun Raiser.
Eagle Waters Resort dinner, dancing, raffles and door prizes on Friday.
August 22. On Saturday, August 23, Golf Outing 4-personal scramble at the Eagle River Golf Course, lunch, hors d'oeuvre reception, golf cart, holes prizes, raffles and silent auction. Flag ceremony and flyover. 100% of the proceeds will support local "Wounded Warriors", Camp American Legion, and Wounded Warriors in Action. Great fun, and greater opportunity to help our heroic "wounded warriors." Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315;
715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Fri.-Sun., Aug. 29-31, 2014: Eagle River Gun Show at the Eagle River Ice Arena. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Hunting season is on the horizon - -from September on, great hunting opportunities for deer, black bear, wild turkey, upland birds, and waterfowl. Eagle River has it all, and welcomes hunters to its expansive opportunities. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315;
715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat.-Sun., August 30-31, 2014: Apple Harvest Fest, 9:30 am-4:30 pm.
Vilas County Fairgrounds. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315;
715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org.
- -Sun., August 31, 2014: Sausage Fest, noon, at Riverview Park in Eagle River. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sun., August 31, 2014: : Eagle River Speedway Season Championship, 7:00 pm. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat.-Sun., September 13-14, 2014: World Championship Snowmobile Reunion & Grass Drags. Eagle River Derby Track. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- -Sat.-Sun., Sept. 20-21, 2014: Annual Paul's Pro-Am Musky Tournament.
Fabulous tournament with all skill levels competing. Cash prizes. One of Eagle River's oldest and "happiest" musky tournaments. Hiawatha Supper Club in Eagle River. Great fun for all. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web:
-- Sat.-Sun, October 4-5 2014: 35th Annual Cranberry Fest in Eagle River.
Vilas County Fairgrounds. Family fun festival with activities all around town. Fresh locally grown cranberries, cranberry marsh and winery tours, large arts and crafts show, cranberry cook-off, world's largest cranberry cheesecake, cranberry food of every kind, antique market, flea market, cranberry fiber arts and weavers show and sale, bike, walk, and run fitness events, family entertainment, farmers market, cranberry fest market, and much, much more. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Fri.-Sun., Oct. 10-12, 2014: Northwoods Fall Art Tour, 10 am-5 pm.
Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat., Oct. 25, 2014: 15th Annual OktoBEARfest, Black Bear Lodge. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
***(Report on Central Wisconsin Lakes AND the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties near Mosinee and Wausau), -- as of August 18, 2014.
Central Wisconsin anglers starting to change tactics as lower night time temps causing fish to start migrating to their fall locations. Black bear season only a few weeks away, with some nice animals seen at bait stations; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Lower than normal water temperatures in the central Wisconsin area are creating uncharacteristic fishing conditions for this time of the year.
With overnight lows in the upper 30 to lower 40 degree range we are already seeing a push from the local fish population towards traditional fall locations. Not only are the fish moving toward their fall locations the presentations have been very fall like as well. We are using larger baits and targeting areas that we normally don't start working until mid-September into October. The larger fish are remaining active and the smaller fish are schooling up into tight groups making them easier to catch.
Live bait presentations have been working very well in central Wisconsin for most species of fish like walleyes, crappies and bluegills. Bass are still being taken on topwater baits, spinnerbaits and plastics and muskies are taking some topwater baits, arge bucktails, jerk baits and rubber baits like Bulldawgs and Medusas.
Bear season is only a few weeks away in the central Wisconsin area and we are seeing a lot of activity at our bait stations. We are getting both night-time and day-time action at our sets, and it is from a number of very nice animals. At one particular location we have at least six different bears coming in to see what's for dinner. The key here is to change it up and use different baits it will keep them coming back and wanting more.
(Central Wisconsin lakes report based on interviews with licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and licensed guide Glenn Moberg, of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Service, Mosinee. Wisconsin).
For more information about fishing and hunting in the Central Wisconsin
* Phil Schweik, Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Services: phone:
715-693-5843; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.hooksetters.biz
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Outdoor Report - Aug 14, 2014
Find Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Cooler nights are reminding campers of September instead of August. Even though it is only the middle of August, boating has slowed down as the water temps have dipped. Despite the cooler weather kayakers and tubers still dominate some rivers on weekends. There are plenty of sandbars throughout the lower Wisconsin River for camping.
In the north, fishing for panfish has been very good the past week, with people still finding crappie, bluegill and sunfish in the shallows, with worms and leeches working best for bait. Anglers fishing on the Lower Wisconsin River report good catches of catfish and smallmouth bass.
Anglers were reporting some nice perch catches on the west shore of Green Bay. Green Bay musky action picks up around this time of year and true to form, at least one fisherman reported catching a 46-inch musky.
Bass fishermen out of Sawyer Harbor continue to catch good numbers of fish. Reports along Door County indicate anglers are either catching good numbers of smaller perch or fewer numbers of larger perch. The salmon bite is in full swing out of Kewaunee County with anglers bringing in high numbers of large fish, with some in the mid-20-pound-range. Fishing was generally slower this week out of southern Lake Michigan harbors, except for Racine where fishing picked up somewhat with lake trout, chinook, coho, and steelhead all taken.
Sunflower fields are looking good, though some of them may not be quite ripe in time for the September 1 dove season opener. Local Canada goose flocks are congregating into larger flocks and have begun establishing feeding flights to and from feeding grounds. Early season goose hunters should begin scouting and seeking hunting permission on the feeding and roosting areas. Bonus antlerless tags, where available, will go on sale Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. at the rate of one tag per customer per day. This year, all bonus tags will cost $12 for residents, $20 for non-residents and $5 for youth.
Shorebird migration is nearing its peak and the west side of Horicon Marsh is proving to be a great spot for migrating birds. In the north, groups of common loons are being reported on inland lakes. This is an annual event as non-breeding and post-breeding birds gather. The behavior has been more common earlier this year due to widespread loon nest failures caused by extreme black fly outbreaks.
Squirrels and chipmunks are busy harvesting black walnuts, acorns, and hickory nuts already. These mast crops are important food resources relished by a host of large and small animals.
Blueberries have passed their peak but can still be found while blackberries are just getting started. Tansy and goldenrod are joining the black-eyed Susans, false dragonhead, cardinal flower, swamp milkweed, Joe Pye weed, yellow and purple coneflower, compass plant, cup plant, blazing star, prairie dock and big bluestem as well as the highly invasive purples of the spotted knapweed and purple loosestrife.
Statewide Birding Report
The avian nesting season is wrapping up with young of most species fledged by now. Exceptions include notoriously late nesting species such as cedar waxwing and American goldfinch, which are likely on eggs or feeding nestlings yet. Hummingbird feeders are very active now as both adults and youngsters jockey for the chance to fuel up for the migration ahead. Remember to avoid unnecessary red dyes and use multiple feeders spread over a wide area to minimize territorial disputes. Chimney swifts are now beginning to gather at communal roosts in large numbers. DNR and its partners are seeking public help in counting and monitoring this declining species. Purple martins are also beginning to stage, while common nighthawk migration should get underway in the week ahead. The bulk of adult shorebirds have already moved through the state but peak numbers of juvenile birds are expected in the weeks ahead. More rain is needed to increase the amount of suitable habitat, however. Wetlands are great places to bird right now. These are hosting large numbers of egrets and pelicans in some areas, as well as gallinules, various waterfowl species, terns, herons, sora and Virginia rails, blackbirds, and other species. In the north, groups of common loons are being reported on inland lakes. This is an annual event as non-breeding and post-breeding birds gather; however, the behavior has been more common earlier this year due to widespread loon nest failures caused by extreme black fly outbreaks. Northern birders also noted the first signs of warbler migration this week, including an increase in Tennessee warblers, as well as other Neotropical migrants such as olive-sided and yellow-bellied flycatchers. Rare birds spotted this week included a ruff in Dodge County, blue grosbeak in Sauk, white-faced ibis in Winnebago, snowy egret in Brown, yellow-crowned night-heron in Marathon, and Franklin's gull in Ashland. As always, find out what others are seeing and help us track the migration at www.ebird.org/wi (exit DNR). Good birding! - Ryan Brady, Bureau of Wildlife Management research scientist, Ashland
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Bayfield County - Pan fishing has been very good the past week, with people still finding crappie, bluegill and sunfish in the shallows, with worms and leeches working best for bait. Walleye are still biting well on both the Namekagon Lake and Eau Claire Chain, again leeches appear to be the best bait. Locals were concerned with the turkey population, with few broods being seen up until this past week, now broods are showing up, but they are very little in size appearing to be less than a few weeks old, only time and weather will tell if they will survive the winter. Grouse populations in the Southern Bayfield County Area appear to be doing very good, with many large size broods being seen and all young appear to be substantial in size. Though the bear hunters feel bear numbers are down, it's hard to tell if the more than normal number of baits are effecting their travel patterns or if the heavy raspberry and blue berry crop this year are causing them to feed away from the baited areas. The blackberry crop appears to have suffered from the long cold winter this year, with few berries being found and those that are, are more than 3 weeks behind from prior years. Few fawns are being seen and this year, causing many locals to appreciate that there is a no doe harvest in many of the northern zones this year. - Jill Schartner, conservation warden, Drummond
Amnicon Fall State Park - The river is at normal level for this time of year. Amnicon Falls is attracting a lot of day-use swimmers to the falls. They call them the natural jacuzzi's. Trails are open and in good condition. The Thimbleberries are ripe and ready to be picked. - JoAnn Hudacek, visitors services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Vilas County - Cooler than normal August mornings have resulted in very picturesque sunrises with fog rising off the water. Blueberries have passed their peak but can still be found while blackberries are just getting started. Some crappie fishing success has been noticed in recent days and musky action has picked up on some area waters as well. - Michael Sealander, conservation warden, St. Germain
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The cooler nights are reminding campers of September instead of August, but the days are extremely pleasant. The forest is starting to show signs of season changes. Some of the red maples in low lying areas are showing tinges of maroon, the grasses are turning brown with ripening seed heads and patches of poison ivy are starting to turn a pinkish hue. Tansy and goldenrod are joining the black-eyed Susans, as well as the highly invasive purples of the spotted knapweed and purple loosestrife. Various mushrooms are starting to show and the bugs are slowing down. Hiking and biking conditions are great. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Florence DNR at the Florence Natural Resource Center
Florence and Forest counties - Many spectacular wetland and wet meadow wildflowers are blooming now in south-west Wisconsin, including false dragonhead (Physostegia), cardinal flower, swamp milkweed, Joe Pye weed, common boneset, etc. Several Wildlife Areas offer good viewing opportunities, including Van Loon Wildlife Area (hike out the McGilvray Rd. Seven Bridges hiking trail to Bridge 5) and Kickapoo Wildlife Area (the Wauzeka Unit has a 4-mile walk-in trail off of Hwy 131 that offers access to wetlands starting at approximately Mile 3 and the Bell Center Unit has some wetland access available on Hwy 131). - Anna Jahns, wildlife technician, Florence
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Oconto County - Anglers fishing the Oconto River are still catching panfish and smallmouth bass using worms and crawlers as well as spoons and plastics. Fishing has slowed some from last week. Kayakers and tubers still dominate the river on the weekends with people taking advantage of the nice weather. Anglers are reporting some nice perch catches from the landing on the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II. The fish are being caught in 9 to 15 feet of water using minnows and crawler pieces, the bite can be hit or miss. Walleye action and bass fishing the bay remains slow with anglers reporting some success in 20 to 30 feet of water fishing large stick baits. Geano Beach: While the bite has been slow most of the summer, area musky anglers say this is around the time it picks up again. True to form, at least one fisherman reported catching Wisconsin's state fish this week; a 46-inch musky on a green and gold bucktail. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Marinette County - Anglers are having success with smallmouth bass and northern pike floating the Peshtigo River from the landing at City Garage to Klingsborn Landing. buzz baits, plastics, stick baits, and surface baits are working well. Catfish are still being caught at the Peshtigo Harbor, with crawlers fished on bottom being the best method. Walleye, pike, sheep head, and small mouth are being on the Menominee River by both boaters and shore anglers. Trolling with stick baits after dark has been best for walleye while live bait and plastics have worked best for bass and sheep head. I have no reports from the salmon or trout anglers for this week. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Walleye anglers launching out of Suamico are having a challenging time. The walleye observed this week were all between 19 and 22 inches. The most common approach has been crawler harnesses. Perch boats have also had a tough time. The largest number of perch reported this week was nine. The average size observed was 9.5 inches, with the largest being 11.2 inches. Minnows seemed to be the favorite bait, but night crawlers have also been landing fish. A few freshwater drum and catfish are also being caught by anglers targeting perch and walleye. Shore anglers at the Suamico launch have been primarily aiming for yellow perch. The preferred method has been either night crawler pieces under a bobber or on a three-way swivel. The ones that have been caught are on the smaller size, averaging 6.16 inches. Freshwater drum are also being caught and kept by shore anglers looking for perch. The average freshwater drum measured off the shore at Suamico this week was 15.34 inches. A few bluegills and gobies were also reported. Shore fishing on the Fox River continues to be tough. Most anglers have been casting for "anything that will bite." Fishing worms off the river bottom using a three-way rig remains a common approach. Freshwater drum and channel catfish are the fish that are being caught in highest numbers. A few fishermen are using tubes and spoons for smallmouth in Voyager Park, but not reporting any catches. One angler mentioned that the crappie bite at the mouth has been real hit-or-miss. Bay Shore Park anglers enjoyed a few days of great fishing near the end of the week; however, the weekend proved a bit more difficult. Fishermen report increasing catches in the mud flats with cranks and crawler harnesses still battling it out. Green and purple cranks are producing the greatest catch rates however when it comes to blades, orange out produced any other. Anglers returning to the ramps throughout the afternoon had much lower catch rates then those returning near dusk. Many of the late evening fishermen reported very slow days until two hours before sundown. Most walleye being caught ranged in the 18-24 inch range with one boat catching and returning two 30-plus inch fish caught right before sundown. Perch anglers continue to mark large schools of fish in depths ranging from 16-30 feet of water. The larger fish seem to be caught near the deeper edge of this range; however, schools are sporadic. Baits suspended near the bottom continue to be the technique of choice with night crawlers and minnows continuing to be the bait of choice for the area. Anglers are also reporting that minnows produce just as well as crawlers with the added benefit of reducing the numbers of goby caught. - Adrian Meseberg and John Taylor, fisheries technicians, Green Bay
Door County - Anglers at the Stone Quarry targeting smallmouth bass were quite successful, both from shore and boat. Night crawlers were the most successful bait; however spinners and tube jigs were also a popular lure. Rock bass and gobies were also incidentally being caught. Boat anglers targeting walleye with spinners at the Stone Quarry were also seeing some success. While the perch bite was slow, anglers have had some success using night crawlers out of Sawyer Park in Sturgeon Bay. At Chaudoir's Dock, anglers in the area are still struggling to catch larger perch in good numbers. Reports continue to speak to the fact that anglers are either catching good numbers of smaller perch or fewer numbers of larger perch. One angler was able to return with 12 perch all ranging in the 10 to 14 inch range. Catching one or two perch of good size would happen quickly; however, anglers would then have to move in order to catch more. Some anglers believe this was due to them being widespread, while others thought that schools were constantly on the move throughout the weekend. Minnows are by far the bait of choice out of this area. Suspended hooks near the bottom continue to be the technique of choice with the best fishing coming in 22 to 26 feet of water. Walleye in the area continue to be elusive. Reports near midweek of good catch numbers, failed to pan out for the weekend. The few walleye that were reported happened to be accidental catches by anglers fishing for perch. Drum and catfish continue to be caught by pier fishermen with the best catches coming near dusk and dawn. Schools of young of the year catfish are being spotted within the pier, along with a large number of gar ranging in the 10-14 inch range. Musky continue to be elusive in the Little Sturgeon Bay area. Anglers have been able to entice the fish to follow however no catches were reported during interviewing. Anglers targeting other fish also reported seeing a number of musky cruising the shoreline across the bay from Carmody Park. Perch fishermen in the area have yet to report many fish over 7 inches. Catching them here doesn't seem to prove difficult; however, finding keeper size fish has been far from easy. Minnows continue to be the bait of choice due to the fact that by-catches of goby are reduced when compared to night crawlers. The majority of anglers reported the best numbers of perch were caught in 16-18 feet of water with larger fish being spread throughout the area. Smallmouth bass continue to be abundant with the best catch rates coming on tubes and plastic worms. Colors of choice vary widely between anglers but green comes out on top. Increasing amounts of weeds have made fishing a bit more difficult but have also allowed a few anglers the opportunity to enjoy seeing bass attack top water baits. Frogs fished near or through lily pads have produced the most hits. Sawyer Harbor fishermen continue to catch increasing numbers of perch; however, sizes have been small. Average fish continue to hover in the 5 to 7 inch range. Many anglers are reporting large schools of perch in the channel; however, catching them has proved difficult. Night crawlers and minnows are the bait of choice but larger fish are being caught with soft shell baits. Bass fishermen continue to catch good numbers of fish utilizing green and hot pink tubes. "Anywhere you can find weeds, you can find bass" stated on angler. Another fisherman reported catching 3 bass over 5 pounds while fishing out of Potawatomi Park. Water temps continue to be steady near the 70-degree mark. - Adrian Meseberg and John Taylor, fisheries technicians, Green Bay
Manitowoc County - It was another tough week for Lake Michigan anglers in Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Most anglers, whether trolling or fishing off of piers, reported spotty results throughout the week. While steelhead and chinook could periodically be seen surfacing and chasing baitfish, convincing them to hit a lure was a challenge. The south pier in Manitowoc saw good numbers of anglers throughout the week, although few went home with fish most days. A handful of anglers did catch some nice kings, several of which were of impressive size, including at least one that tipped the scales at 31.5 pounds and 42 inches in length. That fish was reportedly caught on a green glow spoon. Both angler and catch numbers dwindled a bit on Two Rivers piers but enough fish are still being caught to keep anglers motivated through some long fishing hours. Steelhead, a few kings and brown trout, an occasional carp and smallmouth bass have been brought to nets by anglers throwing spoons or fishing small live alewife near the bottom. One fisherman caught a beautiful and hard-fighting 20-pound carp that hit a spoon on the south pier. Many anglers also noted that alewife populations close to shore have diminished significantly in recent days. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. Manitowoc and Two Rivers trolling anglers have had a tough go of it lately as well, with many getting skunked in spite of putting in long hours on the water. There were, however, several trollers who returned to port with coolers heavy with kings, steelhead and lake trout. Most fish are still being caught in less than 90 feet of water, with 40 to 75 feet being a hot zone, but weeds have also caused some frustration by fouling lines and lures. Surface water temperature are presently in the mid-60s. Early morning, between 5 and 7 a.m., has also proven to be the golden hour for successful anglers. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Kewaunee County - The salmon bite is in full swing with anglers bringing in high numbers of large, healthy fish. Some fish being landed were in the mid-20-pound-range. Anglers were more successful the farther north they traveled, with Sturgeon Bay producing the highest numbers of fish. While some limits were being reached in Sturgeon Bay, anglers in Kewaunee and Algoma were averaging 2-5 fish per boat. Water temps in Sturgeon Bay at 80 feet were 50 degrees, and slightly cooler in Kewaunee with 47 degrees at 75 feet. While rainbows were being caught fishing the top 30 feet in anything from 50-430 feet of water, kings were found most often in 80-120 feet of water, about 60-80 feet down. While anglers were trying all types of lures, flasher flies seemed to be the most successful. Anglers fishing with spoons reported that bloody nose spoons and green spoons saw the most success. Many anglers also reported orange spoons to be producing plenty of results. A 30-pound king was reportedly landed in Kewaunee. - Aaron Suehring, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Shawano County - Fishing is very good with mainly panfish being targeted and kept. Die hard musky fishermen are doing well with some nice being caught and released. Cooler water temps are helping with the fishing. As the water cools so has boating. Even though it is only the middle of August, boating has slowed down as the water temps have dipped. Lots of birds are flocking up and soon many will depart for warmer climates. Fall hunting is just around the corner. - Jim Horne, conservation warden, Shawano
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Potawatomi State Park - Queen Anne's Lace and Black-eyed Susan are in bloom. - Lois M. Hanson, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Blackberries have just started, thanks to the untimely dry spell the last five and a half weeks it does not look like a bumper crop. The raspberries and blackcaps are now done for the most part. Trout streams very low right making for challenging fishing. Warm water rivers of the area have had excellent northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing. Lots of turkey broods around. Due to the late spring, many of the poults are only chicken sized right now. Have started to see some wood ducks flying around early in the morning lately, another sign that fall is approaching. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - East winds and warm water has slowed fishing some in Sheboygan, wavy and stormy conditions this week kept most anglers at the dock, those few that did venture out found a few fish in 60-100 feet of water chinooks and rainbows were caught on spoons and jplugs fished off of leadcore or dipsy divers in the top 50-60 feet of water. Wire dipsy divers fished with flashers and flys also took some fish. Shore anglers casting off of the north and south piers early in the morning had limited success with only a handful of brown trout being caught, best baits have been spoons jigged off bottom or a live alewife fished off a three-way rig off bottom. Cooler water and calm weather will be needed to improve pier fishing in the coming weeks.
Ozaukee County - In Port Washington its much of the same story as most other ports trollers are having a tough time finding any pattern with sporadic action for both chinooks and rainbows anywhere from 90-140 feet of water fishing from 40-60 feet down flashers and flys seemed to be the most productive lure with magnum sized spoons taking a few fish as well. Warm water has slowed shore fishing off of the south pier and the area surrounding Rotary Park and the power-plant discharge, only an occasional brown has been caught on a spawn sac floated off bottom or casting and jigging a spoon near bottom early mornings have been best.
Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee fishing remains rather slow, high winds and rain have warmed near shore waters and shore fishing has shut down. Boat trollers continue to find some fish mostly chinooks and rainbows anywhere from 90-110 feet of water, best lures have been spoons or white flasher and fly combinations fished from 50-60 feet down. 5-7 color leadcores off of boards, wire dipsys, and downriggers have all caught fish, some calm stable weather this weekend should help improve fishing
Racine County - Racine fishing has actually picked up somewhat this past week with some good catches of all species lake trout, chinook, coho, and steelhead have all been taken in decent numbers when anglers were able to get out. 70-100 feet of water has been best with fish coming in at 30-40 feet down spoons off of leadcores and flashers and flys fished off down-riggers have taken the most fish, white and green seem to be the best flasher/fly combination. Medium to magnum sized spoons are also taken fish, silver and blue or green and silver seem to be the best colors, spoons have been best fished off of 7-8 color leadcores and planer boards. Wire dipsy-diver rods have also been productive, early mornings remain best with the bite slowing down by 7 a.m. Warm water and stormy weather has shore fishing to a halt, little to no action for perch or browns was reported this week off of any of the piers or harbor area. The only action reported was for an occasional brown trout or northern pike off of the fishing pier in the Pugh Marina area. There spoons and crank baits have worked best early or late in the day. Fishing out of Kenosha has also been slow with only a few browns biting off of the south pier early in the day.
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Point Beach State Forest - The beach is open and in fair condition. Expect a smaller beach area this year due to the higher water levels in Lake Michigan. There have also been about a dozen pelicans that have been calling the beach at Point Beach State Forest their home for the last month or so. Their primary location has been near the indoor group cabins. Please visit www.wibeaches.us for the most up-to-date information. For the most updated water temperature, please visit www.coastwatch.msu.edu/twomichigans.html (both links exit DNR). - Melanie Kozlowski, Visitor Services Associate
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Good viewing opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl and marsh birds are available from the Hwy 28 road shoulders just west of Hwy 41. This week we reinstalled one row of stop logs in the Theresa Marsh dam this to start slowly bringing water level back up on the main flowage above the dam. Gradual reflooding will continue during August and September to allow smartweed, bidens and other moist soil plants to mature on mudflat areas to provide high quality feeding habitat for migrating birds later in the season. For that reason, hunters on Theresa Marsh in September should expect water levels to be somewhat low during that time period. Contract helicopter spraying to kill 150 acres of cattail and phragmites on Theresa Marsh will begin later this week and may be occurring at some point during next three weeks depending on weather and scheduling dates. Spraying may occur on weekdays or on weekends. Access sites to the marsh will be posted closed during spraying and the two days following spraying. Local Canada goose flocks are congregating into larger flocks and have begun establishing feeding flights to and from crop fields and other feeding grounds. Early season goose hunters should begin scouting and seeking hunting permission on the feeding and roosting areas. Wildlife commonly seen on Theresa Marsh right now include blue-winged teal, wood ducks, Canada geese, cormorants, green herons, American bitterns, great egrets, belted kingfishers, coots, sora rails, sandhill cranes, and many other bird species. Prairie fields are still near peak viewing conditions with coneflowers, black-eyed susan and other forbs still in bloom. Sponsors considering hosting a fall "Learn to Hunt Pheasant" workshops should submit their applications to local DNR staff as soon as possible. Learn to Hunt Information and applications are available on the Learn to Hunt section of the DNR website. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford
South Central Region
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - The water levels on August 14, at the Prairie Du Sac dam was 5,493 cubic feet per second. Please call 1-800-242-1077 for current river flow at the Prairie Du Sac dam. The fishing reports on the Riverway indicate good catches of catfish and smallmouth bass. The secret is finding the deep holes or areas where cold water streams enter the riverway. There are plenty of sandbars throughout the riverway providing ample locations for camping. Please remember that camping is restricted to no more than three days on state-owned islands and sandbars. Camping at these locations is restricted to persons and their equipment arrived by watercraft only. A camping permit is not required. The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway has a "carry-in, carry-out" policy which means people must take the trash they create with them. - Matt Seguin, property manager
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Shorebird migration is nearing its peak and the west side of Horicon Marsh is proving to be a great spot for migrating birds. Check out this website for good locations around the state to view shorebirds. The native prairies around the marsh are in full bloom. Colors abound from yellow coneflower, purple coneflower, compass plant, cup plant, blazing star, prairie dock and big bluestem. Visit the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center on Saturday, August 16 for a variety of free, family-friendly events. From 10-11:30 a.m. join DNR educators for a program on "Prairie Blooms." It is the perfect time to view the beautiful prairies around the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Join educators as they share fun facts about the different flowers and their benefits to wildlife. These vibrant blooms provide much more than just beauty to the marsh. This program will offer a guided hike, interactive displays and activities for kids. It is free and open to the public, no registration is required. The "Movies at the Marsh" series continues on Saturday, August 16, at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center with a screening of "Tarzan". Showtime is 6:30 p.m. After the movie, head to the parking lot and visit with the Northern Cross Science Foundation Astronomers. They will have telescopes to view the night sky on a clear night and information if it is cloudy. Astronomers will be at the center from 5-11 p.m. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located between the towns of Horicon and Mayville on Hwy. 28. For a detailed list of all Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center special events please visit the Friends of Horicon Marsh website at www.horiconmarsh.org (exit DNR). For more information on Horicon Marsh education programs and offerings contact Liz Herzmann 920-387-7893. - - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Blackberries are now ripe in the Columbia County woodlands - make sure to bring your bug spray if you decide to go berry picking. Water levels are down in area marshes. Boards are being placed in the water control structure of the main dike at Mud Lake Wildlife Area in an effort to raise water levels of the main marsh - a project will begin next week to try to remove some cattails with a specialized barge that cuts through the cattail mats. Sunflower fields are looking good, though some of them may not be quite ripe in time for the September 1 dove season opener. - Sara Kehrli, wildlife biologist, Poynette
Dane County - The prairies are now full of yellow with silphiums, goldenrods and sunflowers in full bloom. The blazing stars (liatris) are adding a splash of purple. Bird migration has begun with orioles now on the move, hummingbirds, shorebirds of many species, flycatchers and large groups of swallows gathering at staging areas. - Andy Paulios, wildlife biologist, Fitchburg
West Central Region
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Vernon County - It sure seems early, but squirrels and chipmunks are busy harvesting black walnuts, acorns, and hickory nuts already. These mast crops are important food resources relished by a host of large and small animals, supplying them with fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Some animals, such as black bears, gorge themselves on mast in preparation for winter slumber. Others, such as deer mice or blue jays, cache vast quantities of nuts and seeds for use at a later time when these foods might otherwise be unavailable. The addition of some rain during the next couple of weeks would certainly help the continued development of the mast crop. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - Temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the low to mid 80s with a slight chance of rain Friday night. Campsites are still available at the East Fork and Pigeon Creek campgrounds. All-terrain vehicle and utility vehicle trails are being groomed this week and should be in good condition for this weekend. The ATV trail between the 7th Street parking lot and intersection 946 is temporarily closed. - Emily Alf, visitor services associate
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